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Rod Powers

Army Plans to Change PT Test

By July 20, 2010

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The Army plans to overhaul the 30-year-old Army Physical Fitness Test, according to a recent Army Times article.

Training and Doctrine Command is working to revamp the PT test, untouched since 1980, as it rolls out a revised, more combat-focused physical training doctrine. The new doctrine, the first since 1992, is part of a multiphase effort that will culminate in a new PT test sometime after 2011.

Comments
July 27, 2010 at 8:59 am
(1) "Doc" Bob says:

It’s about time… every time I wanted to attend a school is based on assessment. Even at 34-35 years old I had to score as a 21 year old. I was fit and it was not a challenge, I trained in combat gear on my own to make sure I was fit. I always knew sit-ups were a waste of time. I focused on stretching, running in my combat gear ( not 2 miles, but at least 5 miles) a steady run fit for endurance., and mental focus, pull ups and push ups as upper body strength is a must. I still have reservations on crunches. I would focus on exercises that strengthen the back instead weaken it. It’s too easy to pull and strain the lower back… if you do, you have loss a use of a soldier. Back pain is debilitating, other than feet it was the most complained about in my treating the soldiers.

There needs to be instruction on diet and foods that can be used a medicine for repairing and re-building the body and strengthen the immune system.

July 27, 2010 at 10:22 am
(2) Mary says:

The parents and schools need to do something about youth obesity. There’s always time to cook a healthy meal and enough cookbooks to go around. Parents need to get their kids off the video games and outside during the summer and practice family fitness. I finally learned, at 54, how to care for my body and I’ve never been fitter.

July 27, 2010 at 11:39 am
(3) Barbara Wilkerson says:

Some of the troops I know, have been talking about the Army having this “Stress Pass”, their troops get twice a month. Is this true? I’ve never heard of anything so rediculous. If it is true, I hope those who feel the need to use it are documented, and not put in combat with those who don’t. I’d hate to think my son had one of these stressed” passed, troops watching his back in the field. A lot of the army’s enlistees are there for the enlistment bonus as is, not because they feel the need to serve the country or help the other troops. This is so sad.

July 27, 2010 at 1:41 pm
(4) Chester says:

For years people have been hurting themselves due to the Army PT program.
The Army had planned to revamp it about 10 years ago but didn’t because of costs. It was an overall better program. Those units that had switched to it were seeing better results in overall fitness.
At one time the PT uniform were fatigue pants, boots and a t-shirt.
Then the Army switched to running shoes and opted for different clothing. This had gone from using Army issued PT sweats to what we have today.
It is an over all improvement.
Problem is, people still run on hard paved road which lead to injuries from the back down.
Not a good thing.
Even when I was in the Army back in th mid 1980′s the PT program needed to be improved.
We have learned about “soft tissue” injuries, stress fractures, shin splints, and so on.
But we still run on paved streets.
I read the Army Times article. Nice ideas from some of the troops but overall, one, like the road march just won’t cut it.
You need to have overall fitness. It really sucks when you can do 8 pull ups from a dead hang, but not get a 300 on the PT test. And then, watch another soldier who gets a 300 but can’t do one pull up or chin up.
I understand you have thousands upon thousands of soldiers who have to do PT. And I understand the logistics involved in all of that.
A program, without any political influence, created with the concept of overall physical fitness needs to be created by the services.
We have the knowledge now to not make the mistakes we have made in the past for physical fitness.

July 31, 2010 at 9:23 pm
(5) Sarge says:

Mary, your observation on youth obesity pretty-well hits the nail on the head. I have never been a supporter of introducing computers into a kid’s education program at so early an age. This only serves to condition the kid, at the most-impressionable stages of life, that technology can replace good ole fashioned brain work as well as good ole fashioned entertainment, such as riding bikes, playing ball, and doing all the physically-taxing things which earlier generations did in the process of growing up. Whereas the onset of maladies, once reserved for sedentary adults, now falls upon youth with alarming frequency, it’s not too difficult to trace this trend to the technology-induced inactive lifestyles of youth.

Classical Army thinking does not help in addressing this problem. When I first entered the Army, back in the dark ages, physical fitness was not a major concern; the PT uniform was simply the standard fatigue uniform modified, according to weather, with removal of the shirt, or the addition of standard sweat shirt. Fast forwarding to the present, the PT uniform has evolved into a multi-piece ensemble, costing the Government many many times that of the previous gray, while, at the same time, PT bolos have skyrocketed. Rather than focus on positive leadership oriented toward enabling the soldier to adopt those lifestyles which enhance physical fitness, Army leadership, through the current PT uniform, has ensured that if the soldier can’t pass the most-basic of events in the APFT, at least he/she will probably be the best-dressed out-of-shape soldier among all the world’s fighting forces.

September 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm
(6) disgusted says:

if you train to sprint instead of run your soldiers will be in better shape, the short of it is the APFT needs to be comprised of these events: pull-ups(overhand), push-ups, a 1 mile sprint, and any other events that will ensure we train to fight in concert with training to ensure a proper military appearance.

November 9, 2010 at 11:53 am
(7) Chief Jason says:

I can certainly appreciate the discussion but do not like that we have little to no information on the actual new APFT tests. TC 3-22.20 dated August 2010 offers new training and life style tips but I want to know about the new tests. My regiment consists of exercises which has kept me healthy and prepares me for the biannual APFT for the past 21 years. Now, I know many disagree with me but scoring a 300 on the APFT does not make a Soldier “combat ready. “ I witness many of them brake down in a combat situation around hour 28 with no sleep. Because they train so hard their body required more sleep; not good for combat. If this new APFT will better demonstrate combat readiness then we should know what it is now so we can us it (at least as a diagnostic) to measure our readiness. Why so secretive if it is going to become the standard next year anyway?

November 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm
(8) JACKwo says:

I can honestly say that beyond the shadow of a doubt, the Army would lose a phenomenal chunk of it’s combat power if this were set in stone. I’m not saying this would be a huge problem for the Army, with it’s adaptive leaders and productive training….but it would more than raise an eyebrow in our society. Only the strong survive, so lets make the strongest..even stronger !

November 29, 2010 at 1:07 pm
(9) Holly says:

Although a new APFT would better assess soldier fitness, I don’t think the additional resources and training required would make the switch worth the effort. The current APFT is very streamlined and allows NCOs to easily execute events almost anywhere. I think the responsibility of a fit force is in the hands of unit commanders. They should take the initiative to incorporate Crossfit, sprinting, and other rigorous workouts into their daily PT program. The assessment of physical fitness, however, should probably remain simple and straightforward.

November 30, 2010 at 10:21 pm
(10) jonathan says:

Holly,
It is up to the Unit Commander. However the Army has become a micromanaged mess. The Sgt all the way up to the 1SG are useless now. My CO Commander cant even dictate the Uniform like he is supposed to. He is a Cpt in the United States Army and a Graduate from West Point with 15 years in the military. After this deployment he will be a Major yet he cant even be allowed to make a uniform judgement call because his boss want to control what is going on. Its ridiculous
The army is at a point were the political correctness and bureaucracy is taken over everything and soldiers are no longer what they used to be. Common sense is completely out of the window. Vietnam vets and WW2 vets were the classic examples of what soldiers should be… for the most part. If it made sense and it worked then they went with it and no once cared if it wasnt an AR or FM. Soldiers dont realize that the AR and FM was created as a guide. People in the army think it has to be done by the book or its wrong. Pt is an example. Sit ups are useless. They do nothing but cause problems. Sure you will get a six pack but thats it. Yet we are still told that if we do so many in a certain time we are physically fit. Two miles of running. I seen people end up with broken legs because of shin splints. Any running is bad for you. Besides sprints and barefoot running. Other then that it causes knee and ankle problems. Biking or using a cardio machine or even speed walking are better alternatives. Swimming is probably the best cardio work out you can ever have. Push ups are the only excersise

November 30, 2010 at 10:27 pm
(11) jonathan says:

Holly,
It is up to the Unit Commander. However the Army has become a micromanaged mess. The Sgt all the way up to the 1SG are useless now. My CO Commander cant even dictate the Uniform like he is supposed to. He is a Cpt in the United States Army and a Graduate from West Point with 15 years in the military. After this deployment he will be a Major yet he cant even be allowed to make a uniform judgement call because his boss want to control what is going on. Its ridiculous
The army is at a point were the political correctness and bureaucracy is taken over everything and soldiers are no longer what they used to be. Common sense is completely out of the window. Vietnam vets and WW2 vets were the classic examples of what soldiers should be… for the most part. If it made sense and it worked then they went with it and no once cared if it wasnt an AR or FM. Soldiers dont realize that the AR and FM was created as a guide. People in the army think it has to be done by the book or its wrong. Pt is an example. Sit ups are useless. They do nothing but cause problems. Sure you will get a six pack but thats it. Yet we are still told that if we do so many in a certain time we are physically fit. Two miles of running. I seen people end up with broken legs because of shin splints. Any running is bad for you. Besides sprints and barefoot running. Other then that it causes knee and ankle problems. Biking or using a cardio machine or even speed walking are better alternatives. Swimming is probably the best cardio work out you can ever have. Push ups are the only exercise that is worth anything. Push ups are a multiple muscle and strength and endurance exercise. It woks core, back, shoulders, triceps and biceps. if you do it correctly.
There are so many more programs out there that work better then what the army says.

September 19, 2012 at 9:03 am
(12) superdrol cycle says:

Hi usmilitary.about.com is cool i love to read your content
superdrol cycle

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